Brain activity during orgasm studied

Nov. 18, 2011 at 8:20 PM
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NEWARK, N.J., Nov. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say they have recorded what goes on in the brain during one of the human body's most personal and private experiences -- orgasm.

Psychologists at Rutgers University captured the crescendo of brain activity in a series of functional magnetic resonance imaging snapshots taken of a female volunteer in a 7-minute period, ABC News reported Friday.

"We're looking at the sequence of brain regions that get recruited at increasing intensity leading up to orgasm," psychology Professor Barry Komisaruk said. "It's such a compelling behavioral and sensory phenomenon with so many implications and so little understanding."

When Nan Wise, a 54-year-old sex therapist turned Rutgers doctoral candidate, reached a self-stimulated orgasm, almost every area of her brain was activated, the researchers said.

"When I first started grad school in '80s, we didn't have these methods," said Wise, who went back to school four years ago. "Now we can study how the brain is recruiting these regions to create the big bang of orgasm.

"Secondary to an epileptic seizure, there's no bigger brain networking event. It's a fantastic opportunity to examine the connectivity of the brain.

"Theoretically, it's going be helpful to know how things work.I think the caveat is understanding that sexuality is very complex."

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